Kevin Durant Explains Why He Got Combative With the Media Last Week

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Tuesday night at 6 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Warriors beat the Pacers in Indiana on Jan. 28.

Earlier that day, Kevin Durant spoke to reporters after shootaround. It was the last time he met with the media until after the Warriors beat the Spurs on Feb. 6.

That night, he voiced his frustration with the continuing speculation about his future. Where did that come from?

"When you have beat writers that come into practice and the games, you build relationships with these guys in person," Durant explained Monday morning on ESPN's show Get Up! "Just wanted to let them know how I approach the game as a player, knowing that I have to talk to media.

"If I get the opportunity to talk to media, I want to give the fans my persepective about the game, not about business -- stuff that I can't control at this point. So I was just letting them know what I want to talk about when I come into practice or before shootaround or after a game."

In his comments following the win over San Antonio, Durant chose to single out The Athletic's Ethan Strauss -- who published an article the night of Feb. 5, which included passages such as:

Let us be frank, with the caveat that the choice lives inside the head of one guy who can and does change his mind: Insiders around the league think Kevin Durant is leaving the Warriors for the Knicks. Most people within the Warriors either think Durant is leaving or profess not to know one way or the other.


Sources say that Durant believed his besting of LeBron James in the 2017 Finals would get him hailed as the game's top player, a mantle he's craved for some time.

Then, the next Finals unfolded in much the same way, with much the same result, all while Warriors fans cheered loudest for the smaller MVP's baskets.

Durant clearly felt compelled to break his silence because of this article. But why the silence in the first place? The narrative was that he didn't want to answer any potential questions about the Kristaps Porzingis deal and/or Anthony Davis' trade request and/or Kyrie Irving walking back his long-term commitment to the Celtics.

As KD said following the win over San Antonio, he simply "didn't feel like talking the last couple days."

On Monday, the reigning two-time Finals MVP said his message was moreso aimed at local media, not national outlets or reporters who encounter Durant when the Warriors are on the road.

"They're around you every single day, and they see the pattern of who you are as a human and as a basketball player," KD said. "So I just want guys to be truthful, especially if they're gonna walk up to me in the locker room after games and then go behind my back and write stuff like that. At least come talk to me.

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"But it was good to get that off my chest and let everybody know in the building -- if you're covering the team -- what I'm about. And I think everybody understands and we're moving forward from it."

Durant spoke after Golden State victories over the Suns and Heat, and it appears things have calmed down. But the noise is bound to pick back up again soon.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

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